Ipoa asked to probe attack on Nation journalist

Journalists and ward representatives are dispersed after police hurled teargas at them outside the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Tsavo Conservation Area headquarters in Sofia area, Voi.

Photo credit: Bill Otieno I NMG

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has been asked to investigate an assault on Nation Media Group journalist Lucy Mkanyika by a Taita Taveta-based police officer.

Ms Mkanyika was attacked by the officer as she was reporting on a demonstration by ward representatives, who stormed the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Tsavo Conservation Area headquarters in Sofia, Voi, on Tuesday evening.

The MCAs were protesting KWS inaction on human-wildlife conflict in the area.

"Gathering information is my job and that includes taking photographs and audio. Why should I be denied the right to film and gather information in a matter of public interest?” Ms Mkanyika said.

“I wonder why the officer shifted their attention to me to the extent of harassing and humiliating me in public. This is unacceptable.”
Nominated MCA Omar Muhammad urged authorities to swiftly investigate the attack on the journalist.

Assembly Speaker Wisdom Mwamburi condemned the attack on MCAs and journalists. 

He urged KWS assistant director Kenneth Ochieng to resolve human-wildlife conflict by working with local communities.

MCAs said wildlife attacks had increased in the county.

Last Sunday, a man was attacked and severely injured by an elephant at his home in Kasigau. He was treated at Moi County Referral Hospital and discharged.